UofL, Billy Reed join forces to launch new forum


    LOUISVILLE, Ky. – A University of Louisville forum focusing on sports industry ethics will launch Aug. 27 with Louisville native Phil Simms, sports analyst for CBS and former New York Giants quarterback.

    UofL Conversations With Champions will be integrated into the curriculum in Sport Administration, a part of the College of Education and Human Development. Sports journalist, author and adjunct faculty member Billy Reed is partnering with the college to moderate the free, public discussions with well-known sports figures.

    “These talks will give our students a chance to hear directly from respected figures in the sports industry,” said CEHD Dean Ann Larson. “It is our intent to celebrate not just athletic achievement, but also the importance of integrity and character.”

    Simms has been a sports analyst for CBS since 1998 and was quarterback for the Giants for 15 years, leading them to two Super Bowl titles. He attended Louisville’s Southern High School and graduated from Morehead State University in 1979. Simms is expected to talk about how mentors helped him persevere and adopt a leadership attitude. He will also talk about the pressures of being an NFL quarterback and sports analyst.

    “Phil has risen from modest circumstances to go from the south end of Louisville to the Super Bowl and I think his fascinating story will resonate with students,” Reed said.

    Reed, who moderated a similar program at Georgetown College for two years, said the discussions are expected to touch on themes such as how athletes handle stress, responsible use of social media and whether athletes and coaches should be held to a higher standard.

    “We constantly see headlines about sports figures involved in anti-social or illegal behavior,” said Reed. “My hope is that we can showcase another side—those who are committed to doing the right thing and are an inspiration to others.”

    UofL Conversations With Champions begins Aug. 27 at 7 p.m. in Comstock Hall, School of Music, Belknap Campus. The event is free but reservations are required at uoflconversationswithchampions.com/. Free parking available in the lot between the College of Business and School of Music.

    Cindy Hess
    Cindy Hess has more than 30 years of experience in communications, marketing and investor relations, including more than a decade at UofL. She is "sort of" retired but happy to come back to the Office of Communications and Marketing to help with special projects and assignments.